Seconds evaporate off the clock. Chris Osgood finds himself crouched on the Red Wings' bench, praying for a miracle. Only a year earlier, he was in the position that he needed to make a few saves to win the Cup.
Marc-Andre Fleury also took his opportunity to hold on.
A couple minutes of game time seemed an eternity as Penguin captain Sidney Crosby looked on from the end of the bench next to NBC's Pierre McGuire, helpless to do anything about it.
The Motor City faithful all standing, trying to will their beloved Red Wings to victory.
But a wave of emotion hit Crosby and every other member of the Penguin family as Fleury made a sprawling rejection off the blade of Wings' defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom to package the deal, wrap it up, and put a bow on it.
10:38 PM Eastern Standard Time.
Where were you when the final horn sounded in the most hallowed confines in the NHL?
Where were you when 20-year-old Jordan Staal threw off his gloves before jumping into the arms of the victorious netminder?
Where were you when a 38-year-old veteran with a beautiful salt-and-pepper beard looked to the rafters, giddy as a little kid on Christmas?
The horn sounded and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated goliath, 2-1, to win their first championship since 1992, when owner Mario Lemieux hoisted the world-famous Cup.
"Big save by Fleury! And it is, that's it! The Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Stanley Cup, and Lord Stanley, scratch their names on your fabled Cup!"
Penguin award-winning broadcaster Mike Lange said it best. And oh, those shiny trophies.
As Evgeni Malkin hoisted the Conn Smythe Trophy for Playoff MVP, it was tears of joy from this one Russian to another, myself included. I could not believe my eyes. The scene I had dreamed of for nearly a month now was a reality.
Quick, someone tell me I've had too much vodka.
The Cup has come.
I think the 2009 Lombardi Trophy was getting lonely. Well, thanks to the Penguins, it has a shiny new friend in the form of Lord Stanley's grail.
Oh what a prize it is. Crosby, wounded leg and all, found the strength to skate the 35-pound cup around the Joe Louis Arena in an ironic role reversal from the scene he had bore witness to a year ago. To be the best, you have to beat the best.
Welcome back, Lord Stanley.
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